I was in my second year of college when the pastor of my home church made a shocking announcement. I can still remember the aching feeling in my stomach as I sat in the congregational meeting on a Sunday afternoon and heard the pastor, whom I admired and loved, explain that his wife was having an affair with a man in the church.
That occurred at a time when such revelations were still rare and scandalous.
The congregation was stunned. No one knew what to say. No one knew how to respond to the need in his family and the brokenness of his heart. Later I heard that he left the church after that meeting and returned only to clean out his office and pack his books. He and his family left the church, moved from the city, and were never heard from again.
The pastor wasn't the only one in his family who was hurting, of course. In that congregational meeting, he told about the grief his wife had been feeling for more than a year. Much of her travail was the result of the conflict that had been going ...1